Mizuka just asked me if I had heard about some guy who was busted for making tons of money trading stocks who claims to be a time-traveler. The story was that he would show them the time-machine if they let him go. She said her Japanese friends were talking about it. I laughed and checked Google News with an assortment of keywords with no results. I wandered over to #joiito. Soon enough nichlas came up with a link to a WWN article from March, 2003 about the story. Just as I was wondering if this was something to blog about, KevinMarks page-slapped us with the snopes.com entry from April 2003 debunking the story.

I would really love to see the path that this silly story took over the last 1 1/2 years to get from WWN to me via the Japanese girls gossip network.

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Belief in urban legends seems just as strong here in Japan as it was in the US. What I've noticed though is it seems that my Japanese co-workers seem to want to cling to the ULs even after they have been debunked. Is there something here that makes ULs more valuable to the teller/recipient?

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